Research Digest

Generational Breakdown: Who is Watching Connected TV?


  • Around two-thirds of Connected TV viewers are monthly watchers
  • Young individuals are more likely to watch CTV
  • CTV viewers describe themselves as tech-savvy and creative

While the demographics cross age lines, CTV tends to attract younger and more forward-thinking watchers

Four out of 10 US seniors are regular Connected TV users, and CTV usage is about double that (more than 80%) for viewers ages 25-54. This is according to research from eMarketer’s US Connected TV Advertising Report, which features an examination of trends, data, and strategies related to how marketers are approaching CTV. 

The research breaks down the generational demographics of US Connected TV viewers based on how many times they use their CTV devices at least once a month. Gen X and Baby Boomers are watching Connected TV monthly, though Baby Boomers are the smallest demographic and are expected to reach 33.9 million this year. Gen X, on the other hand, will hold strong at between 50-51 million viewers between now and 2025. 

And on the younger side of the spectrum, we can expect the number of Gen Z and Millennials to continue to rise every year. While Millenials are expected to hold the top spot, currently at 59.2 million viewers, Gen Z viewers will jump from 46.9 million in 2021 to an expected 56.1 million by 2025.

Younger Connected TV Viewers

The research points out that younger viewers are more likely to watch content through Connected TV. But what does it mean that Connected TV viewers tend to skew younger?

  • Younger viewers are more likely to be cordless: 60% of adults 18-34 are either cord-cutters or cord-nevers, and anticipate that number to rise as Gen Z viewers become older and start subscribing to their own CTV services. 
  • They subscribe to more services: According to research from Parks Associates, the average length of OTT subscription in US households is around 2½ years. However, this length is strongly related to the age of the consumers. Younger consumers tend to subscribe to more services than their older counterparts, but will often retain those services for a shorter period of time. Research from Deloitte found that 47% of Millennials and 34% of Gen Zs said they’ve engaged in “churn and return,” meaning they canceled and then resubscribed to a service later that year. There are a number of reasons for this behavior, including newly released content, managing costs, or content being moved to another service. 
  • They are less adverse to TV advertising: 80% of CTV watchers ages 18-34 are watching streaming for at least an hour through AVOD or vMVPDs on a weekly basis.

Connected TV Consumers Across Demographics

While each age group has their own behavior when it comes to Connected TV, there are a couple of factors that tie them together. Recently, Amazon worked with Ipsos to conduct a study to find out what elements set these “Connected Consumers” apart from their counterparts. 

  • They have purchasing power: Connected consumers reported an average household income of $80,000, as compared to the average annual take home income of $71,000 among general consumers. 
  • They are forward thinking: Connected consumers self-report as open to new ideas, and describe themselves as creative and optimistic. They also are more likely to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, and are willing to search for brands that resonate with them. And after spending time researching to find the perfect brand or product, they tend to stick to them for future purchases. 
  • They describe themselves as tech-savvy: these consumers are also more likely than general consumers to stay on top of the latest technology, which may come as no surprise due to the more advanced Connected TV technology they use to watch their favorite content.


Ultimately, according to data from eMarketer’s US Connected TV Advertising Report it looks like Connected TV viewers will continue to skew younger over the next few years. This is good news for advertisers—considering their purchasing power and willingness to stay on top of the latest trends, the ability to find these consumers through Connected TV will allow brands to reach an increasingly valuable audience.

Subscribe to the MNTN Research Weekly

Sign up to receive a weekly feed of curated research, sent straight to your inbox.